Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Parsnip, Red Bell Pepper and Ramp Burritos...and Blogger Bake for Hope!
99.9% of the cells in my body were born of pasta and marinara sauce. I mean, there's probably a cheeseburger thrown in there somewhere. A hint of Chinese take-out.
But that's really and truly as ethnic as it gets.
I didn't realize the gravity of this situation, however, until I left for college.
And was quickly informed by my Phillie-born but Arizonian-bred best friend that (a) not only had I never had good Mexican food (never mind the fact that I had never had Mexican food at all. Ever.) but that (b) I would never find it this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.
If I ever wanted to experience it, she said, I was going to have to go south. (More specifically, southwest.) Or at least to places where there was enough of a Mexican contingency to make the food authentic and delicious.
(One would think that that would not be so difficult in NYC. But it is. Oh. It. Is.)
So we went. One spring break during college, we trekked down to Phoenix and road tripped our way to San Diego and LA and Santa Barbara. While I'm sure we went under the guise of much greater and grander plans. The real reason was so that she could prove she was right about the Mexican food once and for all.
Of course. She was.
How I felt when scooping up my first chip-full of salsa was kind of how I felt when tasting these flour tortillas from Tortilla Land. I mean, I could see the resemblance to the flour tortillas that you can buy in the supermarket. But not really.
These tortillas had flavor. So tasty that I may or may not have eaten one (or three). On their own. Without any filling.
I have never in my life felt compelled to do that with any other tortilla. Ever.
Which may be a good or a bad thing depending on you look at it. Considering that I now have 144 sitting in my apartment. Or, now, 142. (Maybe. Or maybe not. Depending on the veracity of the previous statement.)
So then yesterday when I found myself knee deep in them, I did what any normal Northeastern Mexican food-deprived girl would do. And filled them with a completely inauthentic yet still shockingly delicious filling. And called it a day. A very. Happy. Day.
I have recently become a bit obsessed with parsnips due to a particularly delicious pasta dish I had at Garden At the Cellar when I was in Boston for the marathon. So last Friday when I saw them at the farmer's market, I truly had no choice but to pick up eight of them. (I live in shades of excess, in case you couldn't tell. Plus, they were cheap, local and organic. Score.) And then, of course, there were ramps which are such a rare find that they absolutely had to be bought as well. At any cost.
Throw that in with my love of smoked paprika and some white beans and asparagus that I happened to have lurking in my fridge. And you've got yourself a burrito filling. A completely non-traditional burrito filling stuffed into a perfectly delicious probably more traditional tortilla. In short, a perfectly sane way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo when you are an Italian girl who didn't taste her first Mexican food until she was old enough to be legally wed. Or, even if your cells are made up of more worldly things. It's probably still pretty damn good.
On an unrelated note, the Blogger Bake for Hope! If you've ever wanted to have me bake a whole batch of my very best and most addictive brownies just for you and send them straight to your door, then this is your chance! It's a virtual bake sale in which all of the proceeds are going to breast cancer research and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Please please please go over and check it out! And bid on my brownies! Or some of the myriad other treats being offered!
Parsnip, Red Bell Pepper, and Ramp Burritos
Serves 2, an Eats Well With Others Original
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium-large parsnip, peeled and diced
4-5 ramps, white parts only (can substitute scallions or green onions)
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup white beans (or any bean that you have on hand!)
1/2 cup asparagus, sliced on a diagonal
1/4-1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
Salt, to taste
2 flour burrito-sized tortillas
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the parsnips, ramps, and bell pepper with a pinch of salt. (This helps to caramelize the veggies.) Saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the white beans, asparagus, smoked paprika, and chili powder. Stir mixture until all veggies are coated, then cover the pan and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the parsnips are fork-tender. Add salt to taste.
2. When the filling is done, heat a medium-sized non-stick skillet over medium heat and heat the tortillas, one at a time, for 30 seconds on each side. Remove to a plate. Place half the filling in the center of each burrito so that it forms a nice compact rectangle in the center. Fold one edge over the filling. Tuck in the left and right sides and then continue to roll the burrito towards the unfolded edge until it's sealed.
DISCLAIMER - Although I received this product for free, I did not receive any monetary compensation for doing this review. My thoughts and feelings on it are entirely my own.